Wild make a sustainable, natural deodorant that works.
It's an eco product, but not in the way you might expect.
Their bold branding, vibrant language and smart growth strategy enabled them to turn over £5 million in sales in their first year and quickly become a mainstream brand.
The thing is, they invested heavily (time + money) to achieve results like that.
But how did they know it was going to be worth it?
Before we get into that, a cold, hard truth…
For all the brands that have the amazing success Wild has, hundreds of others fail to make it past the first year. It's sad but true.
And do you know the most common reason for startup failure?
Yep, no one wants your solution to their problem. Or there is no problem.
So how do you avoid spending thousands on something before you know it's worth it?
This is exactly what Wild got right.
When school friends Charlie and Freddy came up with the idea for Wild, their big-picture idea was to remove single-use plastics from personal care routines.
Why start with deodorant?
"We wanted to find a product where there was demand but not a sustainable solution yet. Natural deodorants have been a massive growth sector in the U.S. market over the last four or five years. There was a clear demand and need for these products in Europe, too." — Freddy.
"I worked for HelloFresh prior to founding Wild, and I noticed the same trends happening in personal care products as in food. People are beginning to be more aware of the ingredients in products and the impact they have, whether it's what they're putting in or on their bodies. So we focused on deodorant as our initial product, and we've spent two years trying to be the best we can be in that space to build trust with our audience."
They did their research and found what they believed to be a real gap in the market. But that alone doesn't mean success.
"Once we decided deodorant was going to be our first product, we needed to bring it to market. We launched a minimum viable product in 2019 and came away with some key learnings."
The key feedback: great idea, but the deodorant wasn't good enough — yet.
"If your product actually worked, it would be great, but you need to spend a bit more time on it."
The important thing to note is they launched their MVP through a basic Shopify website to get feedback and understand what people really wanted. A small Kickstarter campaign raising just £12,000 also helped them pre-fund sales and get early adopters for another iteration and more feedback.
All this helped them quickly realise they were on to something BUT that their solution to the problem wasn't good enough to convert people into returning customers.
The critical learning for them:
"We had enough data to prove there was a market out there, and it was worth spending the next five to 10 years of our lives developing. We just needed to get better at making deodorants."
With this, they partnered with product design agency Morrama to innovate on their initial design and create a concept that would properly serve their target audience.
They got stuck into making the product as good as it could be and focused on three key areas:
After multiple iterations and testing, Wild finally landed their winning product.
"But there was finally a point where we sold about 10,000 units during a presale and shipped them all out. During the first month, the retention rate was something like 80%. That's when our team realised, "This is going to work. People want this, and they really like it." — Freddy.
Once they knew they had an idea that was going to work, they ramped up investment and started scaling quickly.
In just three years, they've reached over half a Million loyal customers.
Every startup is an experiment.
“The lesson of the MVP is that any additional work beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have seemed at the time.”
- Eries Ries, Author of The Lean Startup
Validate your ideas before investing additional time and resources. Here's how:
Remember: Use your agility as a small company to be bold and innovate fast. And employ your earliest customers to tell you what to do better!
👉 Go Wild at wearewild.com
Keep being an outlier 💪
J + K